How was your Easter long weekend?
As a Christian family we believe that Jesus died for us for the promise of life after death.
This is an opportunity to appreciate everything that we have no matter how big or small.
The wind in your hair, the roof over your head, the warmth of your bed, the love of your friends and family.
Even the challenges in your life is something to be thankful of.
So what did we get up to?
We caught up with Leki’s Family on Easter Sunday which was good fun. We did have plans of having it at Brimbank Park like last year but the weather was a bit iffy so we celebrated at his sister’s home instead.
On Easter Monday we celebrated with my family at Edwardes Lake in Reservoir.
It’s great to be around my Family to celebrate this great gift of Life.
From my photos from last year I can see how much the kids have grown, the relationships have strengthened and that both our Grandmothers have gone to Rest 🙁
Thank you Jesus for everything we have.
We are expecting another addition to the family due to arrive in Sept 2019 🙂
This is a special blessing because I wrote about trying to have kids and having to educate ourselves on how best to fall pregnant.
We fell pregnant on our 2nd month of trying! We’re so happy 🙂
Btw, revisit our announcement of baby #2 – our son Kyneton – HERE.
Our family of 4 turns to 5 and we are so happy!
Now it’s still early days as we completed the 12 week ultrasound earlier this month.
I’m fortunate to have my caseload nurse from my last pregnancy – Allie – manage me again! YAY!
Right now I’m feeling pretty happy and healthy.
I’ve had a little bit of morning sickness but I have been very hungry and craving meaty meals.
I also prefer to have other people cook for me or eat out.
I love visiting my parents and having my Mum cook and look after me. It’s such a great feeling being able to be pampered even if it’s just a nice home cooked meal and a nice foot and stomach massage from my Mum.
Whatever Leki cooks at home I don’t want to eat 🙁 Poor Leki.
I’ve recently brought my pregnancy clothes back from storage and it’s a nice feeling to be comfortable with my fitted dresses and clothes.
My plan is to provide you with a monthly update on how my 3rd pregnancy is going.
Plus, with my last two pregnancies I documented my efforts to lose weight.
In the future I will share with you my efforts to lose the baby weight but this time I’ll have more experience and focus more on staying happy and optimistic.
Appreciate your support,
Our little girl has just turned 4 years old and we celebrated it with a good old backyard party.
It was themed as the popular PJ Mask and my sisters pitched in and hired an entertainer to come dressed as Eme’s favourite cartoon character – Owlette!
You should have seen the wide smile and big eyes on her face as Owlette popped out from the corner.
I’ll never forget that for the rest of my life.
This made me think about the innocence of youth.
Our daughter Emelina is newly 4 years old and believes everything you tell her.
She believes in Santa, the tooth fairy, the Easter bunny and all the other make believe things we grew up adoring.
There will be a time when she realises how the world actually works.
She might be at school and one of her friends will tell her that Santa’s not real.
Or may be an older cousin will find out the truth and share the news with her.
Maybe she busts Mum and Dad slipping the presents under the Christmas tree not Santa and Rudolph.
Or Mum and Dad might accidentally slip that the tooth fairy is not real.
When that day comes I know that little spark in my little girl’s eyes will change… forever.
I guess that’s why I was so moved when she reacted the way she did when she saw the ‘real’ Owlette at her party.
She was absolutely convinced it was Owlette from TV and Emelina hardly let her out of her reach as the entertainer was playing games and organising the kids.
I highly recommend the entertainers and you can find them at Magical Princess Entertainment.
She did a great job and will look to have them host a Party again in the future!
So a little about the actual party….
We had a backdrop which I built and it took me an hour and a bit to piece together with a balloon garland 🙂
I ordered the backdrop off UBACKDROP which arrived within 1 week from when the order was made.
Having a large family we had plenty of hands on deck to help with preparing the food and drinks.
Special shout out to my Mum for all her hard work and great help (couldn’t do it without you!), my Aunty for always supplying seafood and her special Island drink Otai, my sisters Kathy and Taina for their help and Vikki for putting the cake and cupcakes together within hours 😉
These events do not go to plan unless I have my supporters to assist. THANK YOU!
Believe it or not I have already thought about Eme’s 5th and 6th birthday party themes.
I guess I have more fun then her planning her birthdays then she does actually celebrating it 🙂
Emelina please enjoy your childhood before the you join the rest of us in the real world!
In the real world where you can be disappointed.
In the real world the curiosity and wonder diminishes with each day 🙁
Stay where you are where there is magic and wonder my beautiful little girl.
Happy birthday Eme.
Don’t ever grow up.
Mum, Dad and your brother Kyneton.
We celebrated my husband’s birthday recently which also happen to land on Valentine’s Day 🙂
Over a month earlier we had organised a night away from the kids.
This was a mini holiday where we left our 3yo and 1yo with my parents for the night and they played with Aunty, Uncle and their cousins.
So what did hubby and I do?
We went to see the soulful songstress Lauryn Hill featuring hiphop artist Nas.
Wandered around the city and Crown.
Shopped at DFO South Wharf.
Shopped again at Highpoint.
It took us back to our teenage/high school years.
Out late on a school night (Wed night) and no responsibilities (for a short while).
We felt like teenagers again 😉
It was our first time to Sidney Myer Music Bowl and it was a great venue!
Outdoor, grassy hill and seated area closer to the action.
Not used to being out late we actually left early from the concert at 10:30pm because we both were getting tired.
Then on Valentine’s Day we found a spot in the City Laneways that serves Bulletproof coffee and keto friendly food.
Had breakfast there with Leki’s Mum.
I then had the chance to check in with the kids and see how they were holding up at Nana and Poppy’s house.
I was happy to hear that they were behaving and having a great time. They didn’t even miss Mama and Daddy 🙂
After breakfast we made our way to DFO South Wharf for a bit of shopping then on dropped into Highpoint Shopping Centre.
Date night was a success and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves but it’s funny when you’re looking forward to have a break from the kids and then you end up talking about them!
Strange isn’t it…
Looking forward to the next date night.
We a little something planned in May which we’ll talk about later 😉
THANK YOU to my parents, my sisters and nieces and nephews who looked after my 2 little munchkins while I was out reliving my youth!
I hope you have nice date nights to recharge the batteries and to keep the flame burning bright.
Happy Lovers Day for Thursday!
My son just turned ONE YEAR OLD on 3 Jan 2019.
If you missed it – I documented my real birthing process minute by minute in an earlier post – HERE.
WARNING – YOU WILL SEE SOME BLOOD OF A REAL MUM HAVING A BABY 🙂
Unbelievable how quickly time has gone.
So today I thought it’d be helpful to talk to you about how we organise little gatherings and a lot of it comes down to early planning and asking for help with the preparations.
Here are my Top 3 recommendations:
- Plan Early
- Ask For Help
- Make Sure Your Guests Have Fun!
My husband Leki and I started planning for Ky’s 1st birthday around August last year.
The main thing we talked about was when and where.
We decided to push his birthday party to later in the month as 3 January most people are away on holidays.
The next thing that drove our decision was where we would have the party.
That came down to cost and convenience.
We had thought about a Water Park, local gardens/park, the backyard, at a play centre, at my parents house, in a Hall but either it was too expensive or dates were unavailable.
Then we thought about Eastern Beach in Geelong.
It was perfect!
45 mins drive from Melbourne, kiddies pool, diving boards for older kids (adults) 🙂 and plenty of green grass for the family to enjoy!
BEST OF ALL IT’S COMPLETELY FREE!!!
The only thing that we can’t depend on is the weather.
Now on the day we were blessed to have great sunshine and a cool breeze in the shade. So happy! 🙂
But… we were so afraid it would be overcast with rain which was what was forecast for the whole week leading into the birthday weekend. Lucky for us it turned on just in time 😉
So now that we had a location we decided to plan for the Australia Day weekend but when Leki rang the council to enquire whether we could put up a 6m x 3m marquee they said a BIG cycle race was on the long weekend. “The Cadel Evans Great Race” would essentially shut down the whole city of Geelong. Lucky he rang!
So we pushed it forward a week and decided on 19 January 2018.
We made that decision in Sept 2018!
So from Sept to Dec 2018 we started buying little things to help make it easier for the day. Leki bought a big esky from Costco, a large marquee from Bunnings and I organised the little banner and decorations early so I didn’t have to stress closer to the big day!
Ask For Help
Nothing great can be achieved by yourself.
Ask for help!
We are fortunate to have a wonderful family surrounding us that can help in any way they can. Offering help with food preparations, donating their time to help, organising the kids to get there even though parents have to work, contacting me to see if there’s anything that needs doing and lending a hand to shop for things especially juggling a few kids 😉
Believe me it’s a ‘good’ stress when you are running an event but when you have some help it makes it enjoyable as well!
It feels so humbling when you have Family that are so helpful and it’s coming from a place of genuine love.
THANK YOU EVERYONE 🙂
Make Sure Your Guests Have Fun!
Everytime Leki and I host an event we try and spend time with everyone to make them feel welcome and special because we realise everyone could spend their time doing something else.
But, they chose to give up their beautiful Saturday to spend it with us celebrating Kyneton’s 1st birthday.
A little hack we like to think about is if we were being invited to a party what would we like to do or have done for us?
Being in the open we thought it was important to have shelter, comfortable chairs and space for everyone to relax.
We also wanted plenty of food so people could enjoy themselves and then take some things home to eat later in the day or the next day.
Another thing was looking after the kids and making sure they had fun. We planned little games to play and wanted to make sure they had plenty of swimming time, play time and adventure in the sun 🙂
For the older members of the Family we wanted to make sure there was plenty of shade and comfort for them out of the sun.
All in all I can say the day was a success and a large part of it was due to the great weather and planning the day out as best we can!
In closing this is a sad post for me because although we had a lot of fun my little side kick is growing up.
We’ve enrolled him into our local Montessori School with Eme which is only an hour per week just to get the hang of things and to introduce some Montessori ideas (we started Eme at Montessori at 18 months).
Aside from that we are looking forward to my hubby’s birthday in February then Emelina’s 4th birthday in March.
Time flies when you’re having fun 🙂
A little controversial post today.
I started this blog without really telling you my beliefs and core values.
Why is that important?
It will give you an idea on how I think and where I stand on issues.
Here we go!
Couple first, Kids second
In order to run a happy household we believe that the Mum and Dad should come first before children.
It sounds harsh but the reason is that if Mum and Dad are on different pages then how can the kids thrive?
The husband and wife connection is most important.
Kids are not silly – they can read Mum and Dad and can play us against each other 🙂 Our little 3yo Emelina is already trying this tactic on us!
So if Mum and Dad are effectively communicating and are aligned on their thinking and core values then their message will be consistent when we get tested by the kids.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (2017 stats) the highest chance of divorce is around the 12 year mark and when couples approach the mid-40s to early-50s.
So thinking about that a little more closely – let’s assume a couple got married in the mid-20s and started having kids straight away. By the time you’re in your mid-40s:
- Kids are more independent and in their late teens/early 20s
- Kids may leave the home/empty nest syndrome
- Stress of money as kids are at peak expense (phones, clothes, car, bills!!)
- Work, work, work and less time
After 20 years of hard work and slogging away and then POOF! The kids disappear and it’s just you and your hubby again.
The only problem is that in 20 years the communication between you as a couple may have stopped or dropped off dramatically.
Maybe priorities have changed and too much focus was placed on the kids rather then your primary relationship as husband and wife.
You may start to think about what else is out there.
You might start to think about what you missed out on.
You then begin to feel like trying some new.
Then all of a sudden divorce can become a real conversation.
This is not something I’ve made up.
The Australian Government statistics show a 5% increase in the rate of divorce from 2016 to 2017 (although the trend of divorce is reducing compared to 15 year ago in 2001).
Our personal view is that the couple’s relationship for the family is like a house.
The foundation is the husband and wife.
The kids sit on top of us as the house.
The stronger the foundation then the more support and sturdy the house will be 🙂
Discipline and Routine
I write at length about this very topic.
Our belief in discipline and routine shows in all aspects of our lives.
Review the blog posts below for more details on how we go about it as a Family.
Shaping their curiosity and learning with the Montessori Method.
Faith and reflection by going to Church.
Food choices and preparing nutritious meals.
Time management and making time for important things and people.
For us it’s not about reading and thinking about these topics. It’s about action and living it 🙂
Traditional and Conservative
This is the hardest point for me to share with you.
I almost feel like we are the silent majority.
Father works for the Family and Mother nurtures the Family.
I’m a proud Stay at Home Mum.
I wrote earlier about this being one of the main priorities even in the early days of our relationship as a couple – before we got married.
The world today is much different to that of our grandparents.
Technology allows easier consumption of content and connection.
New ideas are embraced.
Great improvement in lifestyle with travel overseas much easier and affordable.
Opportunities for a better life. (Both Leki and I come from migrant parents)
All of these positive improvements in our lives come at a cost.
We almost live in a 24 hour economy.
“Customer service to be available on demand”.
“Longer trading hours at the shopping centre”.
“Now open longer”.
“On call whenever you need”.
Yes, you have more opportunities to earn more money.
At what cost?
I don’t begrudge you if your circumstances are different from mine and you are a working Mum.
All the more power to you.
I’m a supporter of your right to do what’s best for you and your Family.
All that I ask is that you give the same support back to me in our decision to do what’s best for my Family.
Right now it’s to be a Stay At Home Mum.
Once all the kids are a touch older and independent I may decide to go back to some part time work or volunteer position.
But our priority is setting up a Healthy & Happy Home 🙂
This post is not intended to come across to you as judgemental.
I believe in putting my intentions out to the Universe so that I have solid footing to stand on.
I’ll promise to keep an open and respectful mind while I do what’s best my little Family.
Wow! Today marks my 100th blog post.
On the top right of my blog you can see when I started – 7 May 2017.
Over 19 months of consistent work and reflection 🙂
I made the goal of making a weekly blog post and getting to 100 posts before I review how it’s been going.
It’s gone so quickly and my confidence is growing slowly over time although I still get butterflies when I post something new to you guys 😉
So what Leki and I thought would be cool would be to share how we organise these weekly posts.
Here’s how we do it:
- DIY website
- Organising our time to plan the content
- Tidying things up
Make your own website
First step is either buy your own domain or start blogging on a shared platform like www.blogger.com!
What’s a domain? It’s the www.yourname.com.au in the address bar of your web browser.
I thought MyWifeLife was cool and after I searched for whether it was available – to my surprise it was 🙂
I used GoDaddy.com for my web hosting and domain registration.
The second thing I did was sign up with WordPress.com and started playing around with my website design and layout.
Now I understand it’s pretty basic at the moment.
I’ll be working on making it a bit more ‘beautiful’ in 2019 but I wanted to get the regular weekly posting under control first before I worry about the fancy stuff 😉
And that’s it.
Think of a domain name, register it, buy and design your website and publish interesting information so people can relate to you.
Planning & Blogging
This is very much a team effort.
Leki and I work on this project together and we really enjoy it!
Because we talk about what we’d like to share and it keeps us close when we have deadlines to meet.
The constant planning and communication is something that helps us in our relationship as a couple, improving on things individually, gives us a direction on how we want to parent our kids and allows reflection on how we can be there for our friends and family.
Let me give you some examples.
On the individual level I’m not very good at spelling. I’ve written before that I don’t even know how I passed high school and got my VCE certificate. That’s not a joke I should have failed English and Maths… easily.
So when Leki told me I should start a blog and that it’ll help you with your confidence I didn’t believe him. I was too worried about my own insecurities to see how it can be a valuable teacher.
For the first 6 months I struggled to post up a selfie on my blog site (although I do selfies all the time).
I’ve now grown to a place where I can start to make short video messages (vlogs) which 19 months ago would have NOT BEEN A REALITY… believe me!
In terms of documenting our lives it’s been such a great tool to reflect on how my kids are growing among other things.
Do you remember when your child started crawling and then began hauling himself up but isn’t quite walking? I forgot to document that stage of child development with my 3yo Emelina and now my 11mo Kyneton is not far from being up and walking and so I can share his milestones with you but more importantly keep it as a record on my blog forever!
I have visions of keeping this blog for the next 21+ years so I can bring up these old stories on their birthdays 🙂
At the couple level – it gives us an incentive to stay connected. Leki writes the blog and I read and review it. I then add my own phrases and give feedback before adding some photos and shooting my little video message to partner this blog post 🙂
So right now Leki and I spend about 2 hours a week on this project.
Leki spends an hour writing it.
I spend an hour reading, uploading photos and shooting/editing the video.
We then put it up and see how it goes 😉
I really hope you continue to enjoy witnessing our little project and I’m excited for what’s to come in 2019 and beyond!
As a last comment I do strongly recommend you try and start your own blog because the benefits from it outweighs the negatives.
I thought I should keep my details private. Nope, you know what suburb I live in and what my family gets up to.
I thought I could get by having a blog without having to do selfies or shoot videos with my wrinkly face 😉 Nope, you’ve seen me up close and personal.
I thought I’d never have the confidence to spell, write and speak to people that aren’t friends or family without exposing my failure of being a poor student. Nope, I did it anyway.
You can share things that help you and others which is very rewarding… just with a little effort and steady consistency.
I love you all.
Last week I celebrated my 33rd birthday with my family.
It was a great time to appreciate the things you have like health, happiness, safety, and security.
When I reflected on how my life is… I started thinking about the time when I was 16yo.
Maybe you can relate.
When I was 16yo I remember lying on my bed staring at the ceiling in my room thinking… “what is my future going to look like?”
“I wonder when I’ll get married”
“I wonder what my husband will look like”
“Will I ever find the right guy?”
“I want to get married before I’m 25”
“25?? Wow… that’s SO old” 🙂
“When will I start having kids?”
These questions continued on and off from when I was 16yo until well into my 20s.
I remember praying everyday that I would meet someone that would genuinely love me.
The real me.
The Belinda that blushes bright red when I have a simple conversation.
The Belinda that can’t spell too well.
The Belinda that is a simple home body.
The Belinda that works in a factory.
The Belinda that loves her family and supports her community.
The Belinda that is happy with the simple things.
I thank God everyday for the life I have but I had to put the intention out there for the universe to understand what I wanted in this life 🙂
So as I reflect on my 33rd birthday I am grateful for all the things that I’ve experienced.
I’m now double the age from when I was staring into my bedroom ceiling as a 16yo and I smile about the things I was thinking about then and how I am now.
I have a loving husband, 2 beautiful children and we are happy and healthy in our own little house in the suburbs.
If I were to give myself advice knowing what I know now this is the Top 3 bits of advice I would say to 16yo Belinda:
- Be kind to yourself and don’t try and please everyone
- Be the person you want to attract
- Live your life today and don’t dwell in the past
Be kind to yourself and don’t try and please everyone
So here’s the thing.
As a hormonal 16yo all you want in the world is to be liked by everyone.
I know that trying to tell a teenager that everything you are going through, the things you’re feeling, the stresses of your school life, the pressure of you family life the weight of expectation you put on yourself… it’s all in your head.
Talk a breath and just relax.
The number one person to worry about and look after is you – 16yo Belinda 🙂
The more you can improve yourself and learn from your experiences then the better adult you’ll develop into.
Be the person you want to attract
Let me tell you a true story.
Earlier I mentioned that every night when I was 16yo I’d lie in bed – I would pray to God to help me find the man of my dreams and to help me understand my future.
I don’t know if that was just a hope that something was going to happen for me or if there was some divine intervention that would deliver ‘prince charming’.
Anyway I prayed every night without fail.
Then I would go to sleep and wake up and continue on with what I was involved with. School, my Catholic community, many family events and celebrations.
Fast forward to when God brought Leki into my life my prayers have changed from helping me find myself and my future to being thankful and appreciative of the life I live now.
Thank you God for the blessings you have given me.
Live your life today and don’t dwell on the past
I have a past.
My husband Leki has a past.
That can be a limiting factor in some relationships because the past weighs heavy on what’s happening today.
Leki and I believe that trust is something that you spend a lifetime building and only takes a moment to lose forever.
We can move on to enjoy today and embrace tomorrow because we have learnt the lessons from yesterday 🙂
That’s not a good or a bad thing – it is what it is.
I can’t control what’s already happened but I can control how I feel about things.
Live for today Belinda.
Well, that’s the messages I would give my 16yo self if I had the chance.
I remember the confusion, excitement and promise I had as a 16yo and even though I’m in my 33rd year I feel like I have more energy and expectations of myself now then I did then.
As they say – the only person you should be comparing yourself to is the old you.
Love yourself Belinda and work on the things that make you happy.
Hmm.. I wonder what would the 50yo Belinda tell the Belinda of today?
Our daughter Emelina will be 21 and our son Kyneton will be 18.
Will we have more children?
Do we live in Gisborne still?
Am I happy?
Do I have my body still or have I let myself go with menopause 😉
I’ll have to wait and see.
Do the things that make you happy.
I’m sorry I’ve been off the radar for the last 2 weeks.
On Thursday 27 September 2018 my last surviving grandparent – my Mum’s mother passed away peacefully in Tonga aged 87.
We celebrated her life with a Melbourne family vigil at my parents house on Sunday 30 September 2018.
Grandma Taina was the matriarch of our large Family, loved our local Catholic School, was loved by her village of Ma’ufanga and leaves behind many relatives with broken hearts.
4 days later on Monday 1 October 2018 my husband Leki also lost his last surviving grandparent – his Mum’s mother! She too was aged 87 and passed away peacefully with family around her in Melbourne.
Unbelievably we had both Grandma’s pass away within days of each other.
I would like to share my thoughts as this is still very fresh for me as I’ve just returned from Tonga and saying goodbye to my Grandma Taina.
I left for Tonga with my sisters, Mum and my Aunty on Tuesday morning (2 October) only 6 hours after hearing of Leki’s Grandma ‘Iunisi passing on.
I travelled to Tonga with our 9 month old son Kyneton and Leki stayed in Melbourne with our 3yo Emelina.
When we arrived to our village in Tonga with the Bosco Hall decorated with Grandma Taina’s pictures, mats and cultural items I felt so overwhelmed with grief and sadness.
The rush of getting to Tonga and trying to manage my son distracted me from what was actually happening… until I walked into the hall.
Mum was crying beyond control, the community were singing hymns, prayers were offered, relatives were inconsolable and I was heart broken.
Into the next few days from Wednesday to Friday there were a lot of formal events and gatherings at the family home and in the Bosco Hall which was a great opportunity to catch up with everyone.
There were more arrivals from overseas over these couple of days which set off another round of crying, consoling and comforting each other in our grief!
By Friday Grandma Taina was being prepared for her final journey to rest with my Grandfather ‘Amato who passed away 14 years ago.
There was a long march from the house to the local Catholic Cathedral led by the ‘Api Fo’ou school band and after her final prayer and blessings from the Priest.
Grandma Taina was then carried by her grandsons to her final resting place.
While I was overseas in Tonga, Leki’s family was preparing for the funeral and burial of Grandma ‘Iunisi.
Her final viewing was on Thursday 4 October and Leki’s family organised a closed family affair.
Grandma ‘Iunisi wanted to rest with her husband and Leki’s family honoured her final wish.
After her viewing in Melbourne she was transported to Adelaide to rest with Grandpa Sione Na’a after he passed away 21 years ago.
Here is a tribute made by Leki’s brother for their Grandma – ‘Iunisi Fiefia.
Although this is a tough time for our families we are encouraged by the fact that they lived long and full lives.
They were able to see their children grow, have grandchildren and spend time with great-grandchildren which is such a great blessing!
Sending you all our love.
Rest in Love – Grandma Taina and Grandma ‘Iunisi.
We will miss you terribly and you’ll forever be in our hearts!
Belinda, Leki, Emelina and Kyneton xo
Here is the footage of my Grandma Taina’s funeral: